9th Annual Art Affair

OpenDoors of Asheville proudly announces its 9th Annual Art Affair to be held Saturday, March 10, at the Event Center at Highland Brewing. The festive evening offers art lovers a unique opportunity to extend their collections while expanding the horizons of young people challenged by poverty. All proceeds directly support OpenDoors’ mission to break the cycle of poverty with local students through advocacy, education, and enrichment. Attendees of this year’s “Imagine Nation” themed event will enjoy live and mobile auctions featuring works by nationally acclaimed local makers and artists, food and drinks prepared by top local chefs and mixologists (plus beer from Highland Brewing), OpenDoors student artwork to be showcased and offered for sale and an after-party onsite with live music from the well-known Empire Strikes Brass. More than 400 supporters attended last year’s sold-out event, which raised approximately $186,000. “Our students are bursting with hope and imagination for their futures,” says OpenDoors executive director Jen Ramming. “It’s a huge blessing to have a growing OpenDoors community who are willing and able to step up and celebrate our kids’ hard work and ultimate success.” 

The Young Irelanders

Each and every year the Irish Cultural Academy brings together some of its finest exponents of Irish traditional music, song and dance as part of one terrific group known as The Young Irelanders. These performers have Irish traditional music, song and dance running through their veins, and 

although still in their 20’s and 30’s, they are unique among their peers in Ireland. If you want to see and hear what Ireland’s traditions of music, song and dance look and sound like in the hands of some of the most talented young performers in the world, then don’t miss the opportunity to get to see this sensational act. The Young Irelanders will perform at Flat Rock Playhouse’s MainStage in Flat Rock on March 3rd and 4th. Visit FlatRockPlayhouse.org for more information. 

AIDS Quilt and World AIDS Day

Every year, the Western North Carolina AIDS Project (WNCAP) joins the rest of the globe in celebrating World AIDS Day on December 1st. This year, WNCAP celebrated with a Complimentary Breakfast Gathering honoring the community, as well as with an exhibit of the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt. The WNCAP Quilt Exhibit included fourteen 12×12 foot blocks, each one made up of 8 or more individual panels, that paid tribute to those who died from AIDS-related causes. Many of the panels memorialize people from the local Western North Carolina area who passed away. The Quilt Exhibit ran from November 20th-November 25th in the Asheville Renaissance Hotel. On December 1st, WNCAP celebrated World AIDS Day with a morning of commemoration, advocacy, and free food. Staff, volunteers, and community activists discussed the past and future of the AIDS movement and paid tribute to local organizations that continue to fight HIV/AIDS in our community. Both events were free and open to the public.

Elizabeth Button Leads 
Asheville Independent 
Restaurant Association

Beginning this January, Director of Operations of Heirloom Hospitality Group (the masterminds behind Cúrate and Nightbell), Elizabeth Button, became Chair of the AIR (Asheville Independent Restaurant Association) Board of Directors, a role in which she will be the voice of hundreds of local chefs and restaurateurs. Daughter Katie Button inspired Elizabeth to reenter the restaurant game after years in the catering business; she enrolled in management courses at the International Culinary Institute before relocating to Asheville in 2009 to help open award-winning, family-run Cúrate. Since then the matriarch has become increasingly involved in both the family restaurants and the community, including encouraging other restaurants to come to the Downtown Welcome Table at Haywood Street Congregation. In her new role, Button plans to bring help to other local restaurants as the Asheville culinary scene continues to develop.